Last Trips of the Year

Our final weekend on the road in 2017. More airports, more rented gear...

Thursday: Atlanta to New York City for a private gig.

Greg Lee looking dapper at the LaGuardia taxi stand

taxi ride

Our gig was a holiday party at the American Museum of Natural History. Pretty cool spot!

We were in the room with the blue whale suspended from the ceiling.

After soundcheck, we had a few hours to kill, so I went for a run around town. 27 degrees! Also, running down Broadway when all the New Yorkers are trying to go home? Not my best move.

This gig was a very easy one set. The crowd was ok--they weren't nuts from the first note or anything, but there was some dancing, and at least they weren't demanding specific songs. I think we finished around 10 PM, and as soon as I could get all of my gear packed up, we were on our way across town in taxis.

probably as close as I'll ever get to playing at the Blue Whale (it's a jazz club in LA)

Thanks to SIR for coming through with some more good gear. It made everything painless.

Friday: New York to Indianapolis.

The view from our hotel room--we could walk to the airport!

We made it to LaGuardia in good time, only to find that our flight to Indy was delayed two and a half hours by a mechanical issue with the plane. Uh oh! Time to order lunch.

In a panic, all nine of us attempted to jump to another flight leaving around an hour after ours. Nick and Pete made it, but the rest of us were stranded until our plane could be repaired.

One nice thing about the delay: enough first class people jumped on other flights that we all (except for Kip and Zach) got upgraded to first class! Pretty cool, but I honestly didn't know what to do with myself. I think I took just as many naps as I would have in the back.  

more de-icing, this time by the pros in NYC

Earlier in the week, Kip and Zach had driven the van and trailer to Indianapolis, deposited the trailer at Pete's mom's house, driven the van to the Indianapolis airport, and then flown to New York for our gig under the whale. Since Nick and Pete made the earlier flight, they took the van keys, drove to Pete's mom's house, grabbed the trailer, and headed to the gig. We took Lyfts directly to the gig, set up the gear as quickly as possible, ate, changed clothes, and played. A little hectic, but we got through it.

Nice crowd, of course. Enough people know us in Indy that it's an easy sell. The room was sort of a modern construction of a barn...looked beautiful, but didn't sound too great. Cool people, though.

Saturday: More Indy! Lots of time to kill before our gig at The Vogue.

I got up and went for a run. A bit chilly, and pretty windy.

We played a gig in this parking lot many years ago. Nice to hear that the sound guy that day has finally solved the issue of the microphones feeding back.

Main Street, Carmel, Indiana
In the early afternoon, we saw the latest Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi at the IMAX Theatre at the Indiana State Museum. Lots of middle aged male virgins in attendance. If you knew me in 1982 you'd probably find this hard to believe, but I'm just not into Star Wars anymore. It's like running into your middle school girlfriend thirty years later. I'm not that into going to the movies either, so...I don't know what I'm saying...I guess this was better than sitting in a hotel room all day.

On to the gig! We set up, sound checked, ate, changed, and then it was finally time to play.

this one had been sold out for a month--the crowd was electric
Most of the gig was good, but I had a major blunder--in a panic, I couldn't remember if the Africa solo (when did these six measures become the bane of my existence?) started on Eb or F (I know it in two keys depending on whether I'm playing it on flute or EWI). I guessed Eb, which is wrong, and now that I can think about it logically, I'm an idiot--of course the transposed note would be the higher of the two. Anyway, the first three beats of the solo were a whole step too low, but the correct rhythmic and intervalic patterns, and somehow muscle memory rerouted me back on track by the end of the first phrase. Faaaaaaak. I have major suicidal thoughts approximately once per gig (but I can't!--everybody else in the band, and my family are depending on me to hold up my end of this!), and this was Saturday night's moment.

Also, my solo on Biggest Part of Me was a valiant effort, but I was excited and overblowing, and I don't think my ideas ever lined up to form the arc of a good solo. I must point out, for my own enjoyment, the quote from Michael Brecker's Fuky Sea, Funky Dew cadenza (the Heavy Metal Bebop version) in my cadenza. Thankyouverymuch. Small victory.

Here's the first set, in case you don't live in Indiana.

Sunday: Homeward bound. I sat down for lunch at home around 1 PM, right around when all hell broke loose at the airport. Thank god we made it back before that happened.

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